HARTFORD — A choking child is among every parent’s worst nightmares, but, thankfully, a Hartford, W.Va. boy’s quick thinking averted what could have been a tragedy.
Earlier this summer, Ethan Cochran, 8, was playing in the yard with his brother Keegan, 4, when the two were given candy by their neighbor Connie Huizar.
While the boys were playing, a piece of the candy became lodged in Keegan’s throat, much to Ethan’s alarm.
Huizar said the older boy repeated, “He can’t breathe, he can’t breathe, even through his nose,” as he tried to get her attention.
Fortunately, Ethan knew the right steps to take in the situation.
Huizar said that Ethan then quickly but his arms around Keegan and was able to successfully perform the Heimlich maneuver and pop the candy loose.
“I saw it hit the ground,” she said. “He knew what to do.”
Huizar said it was amazing that a boy of Ethan’s age was able to take the right steps to save Keegan, who was unharmed.
“Usually, kids don’t pick up on things like that,” she said.
Huizar said that she and the boys cried together after the successful rescue.
The Heimlich maneuver, invented by Dr. Henry Heimlich of Cincinnati, Ohio, involves wrapping one’s arms around a choking victim and placing the thumb side of a fist against the victim’s abdomen below the ribcage. A series of upward thrusts of the fist into the abdomen are repeated until the object is expelled.
The boys’ parents, Cabbi and Darren Cochran, were not present at the time. Ethan’s mother said she was grateful to find out that her son was brave enough to try the procedure, and cried with him when she found out the news.
Cochran, who is training to be a nurse, said that she had instructed her son on what to do if he saw someone choking.
“We had talked about stuff like that before,” Cochran said. “I didn’t know if he could do it, but he did.”